Sail Away to the BVI

by Katie Manning 3 months ago in bars
Second Place in On the Rocks ChallengeSecond Place in On the Rocks Challenge

Home of the Pain Killer

Sail Away to the BVI

Soggy Dollar bar is the most famous beach bar you have never heard of.

When you think of the most famous bars in the world, a big city probably comes to mind. New York, London, Los Angeles, Hong Kong. A place where hundreds of people gather to wait in a long line outside for hours just for a silent bouncer to finally wave their party inside. Or a place with a secret knock to gain entry. Or a place you have to make reservations at, but their reservations list is booked out months in advance. The most famous bar doesn't have any of those stuffy experiences. It doesn't take reservations. And a shirt and shoes are always optional.

Why have I never heard it?

Soggy Dollar isn't a big brand, find-in-your-local-liquid-store rum. Soggy Dollar is an experience made for the Islands. Soggy Dollar has been around since the '70s set amongst the picturesque landscape of Jost Van Dyke, along the white-sand beach lined with tall luscious palm trees.

The name comes from the dollars handed over from those that have traveled from the water onto the shore of the well-established beach bar, soggy dollars in hand. The name seemed the stick, and the soggy dollars now come from all over the world.

How can I get there?

The BVI is beautiful, but traveling from the US, the Island of St John in the USVI is my own home away from home. A day trip over the Jost is a well worth the day excursion and the steep custom fees to enter the BVI. A ferry from St. John is roughly $100 per adult, or you can find a local and yourself a private captain for the day. If you are already on Jost Van Dyke, you can rent a dingy or drive on over to the White Bay beach.

What makes White Bay Beach special?

The pictures say it all, but White Bay Beach is a relaxing haven and a great place to party all in one. Fuel up with some of the best conch fritters in the Caribbean at Gertrude’s Beach Bar and Grill. To a nap under a palm tree. Meet new friends, sipping on rum drinks in the water. The claim to fame is the Soggy Dollar Bar.

The Painkiller is a tradition at the Soggy Dollar bar.

Don't bother looking at the menu posted on the wall.

The tropical juices paired with a heavy bartender pour of liquid gold rum is like drinking the Caribbean itself.

The classic recipe for this drink combines rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, and cream of coconut poured over crushed ice and topped with fresh nutmeg.

This sweet and refreshing drink is perfect for any summer occasion (or even in the long months of winter when you need a little reminder of sunny days ahead).

While the exact recipe is a secret, there is a way to bring this Caribbean classic home.

Make a Painkiller at home

1 serving, 10 min total time

  • 2 ounces Soggy Dollar rum (or any dark rum)
  • 1 ounce cream of coconut
  • 4 ounces pineapple juice
  • 1 ounces orange juice
  • Freshly grated nutmeg to top


  • Measure (or don't) the ingredients above
  • Shake with ice
  • Pour
  • Top with grated nutmeg
  • Enjoy

The BVI will always be one of my favorite places on this earth. The warm white sand, the crystal clear waters, and the genuine pain killer is the Island.

When you are in the Caribbean, it very clear to see how true it is to feel saltwater heals all wounds. Saltwater, and of course lots of rum.

Stay soggy my friends

Katie Manning
Katie Manning
Read next: Whiskey: A Guide and History
Katie Manning

Full time creative and self-claimed beach bum. Freelance brand services for hire at

See all posts by Katie Manning